Saturday, February 20, 2021

Source and giver of comfort

IT’S always good to read slowly the gospels and the other books and letters contained in the Bible because in them are contained precious lessons that we often take for granted. In fact, it is highly recommended that we spend time meditating on them in a place conducive to such exercise, so that we can more easily discern those spiritual and supernatural lessons that are meant for us. 

 Among the passages that struck me lately are those of St. Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians. He literally is telling us where to find comfort and how we can give it ourselves to others. The pertinent words are the following: 

 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God. 

 “For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.” (1,3-6) 

 Thus, it’s very clear where to find our comfort. It is in God. We should just enliven our faith to accept this truth. We should just believe this truth of our faith as articulated by St. Paul even if we do not fully understand how such truth can be true. 

 Remember that we are meant more to believe than to understand, even as we try to understand things as fully as possible. On this, St. Augustine made that famous dictum: “Crede ut intellegas” (Believe that you may understand). 

 That’s because the fullness of the reality that governs us transcends the natural and rational order. It involves things spiritual and supernatural. It involves mysteries that exceed our understanding. 

 Thus, we need to understand that our sense of comfort should also be a function of our faith more than just that of reason and feelings. It should be a matter of grace more than anything else. 

 It does not mean that such sense of comfort would have no effect on our reason and on our feelings and bodily dimension. It simply means that such sense of comfort would truly give us a sensation of relief, of reassurance and confidence, even if we are not exempted from feeling bodily and natural pain and suffering. It’s a sense of comfort that can bear all things. 

 This is the sense of comfort that is proper to us. It is a realistic one that considers all the dimensions governing man’s life, considered in their proper order. It also considers all the possibilities that can happen to us in this life. 

 We have to stay away from a fantasy-kind of comfort that is purely pegged on our feelings alone or on some worldly values without inputting the most important value of the spiritual and the supernatural. 

 If we have this sense of comfort, we would have no worry whatsoever. Come rain or fire, we would still have comfort. It’s important that we understand the true character of comfort and where to find it, so that we can help in giving it to others who may have a very limited if not erroneous understanding of comfort.

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